Pimsleur French Review – An Old Approach To New Learning
The Pimsleur Approach or Pimsleur Method was developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur after his many years of study in the field of Applied Linguistics. His approach uses a technique that has been proven to accelerate the speed at which one learns to speak a new language, and has been developed for use in many different languages. As for this article, we will review Pimsleur French and attempt to ascertain the validity of this method.
I have always been fascinated by the French language and have tried many different methods and programs for learning to speak French. I have tried the computer programs, DVD sets, and several audio based systems. Audio language learning courses are beginning to take a back seat to current interactive language learning computer software programs. To be honest, I think most of these audio programs should be filed away under obsolete except for one, Pimsleur French. This method of language learning is still one of the highest respected programs in the field.
In this review, we will take a detailed look at what makes this method work and how to get the most out of the program. I know what you are thinking. Does it really work? Will it help me to learn French? Let’s take a closer look at the program.
To begin with, The Pimsleur Approach is not a scam. It has been used by some of the largest companies in the world to teach employees who are relocating to different countries due to promotions or short term assignments. Government agencies have used this very program to educate new employees entering into assignment in foreign offices. It’s hard for me to believe that Fortune 500 companies and government agencies would use such a program if they thought it was a scam. I must reiterate, this program is not a scam.
Does Pimsleur work? Yes, without question. You will learn to speak conversational French and be able to get around in a foreign country without having to constantly ask “Do you speak English?”. You won’t become fluent in French with this course but it is designed to teach you many of the most common words in the language. knowing these common words allows you to begin putting together sentences and phrases that can be used in many different conversational situations. If you are going to France for a summer getaway or are taking an assignment in a French speaking region, then Pimsleur is a great way to learn the words and phrases which will help you communicate in French in everyday situations.
How does this approach work? Dr. Pimsleur, through many years of research, was able to identify several factors that are extremely important in how children learn to speak a language. They are able to learn by hearing many common words and phrases being spoken over and over again. This natural ability to absorb the meanings of the words and the manner in which the words are spoken to the child is the key to really learning to speak and understand French. Forget memorizing. You can memorize all the words you want but you will eventually forget them. This method teaches you how to “know” the words so you won’t forget them.
The audio lessons involved with this method are all 30 minutes in length and begin with a short conversation in French. Once the conversation has ended, the dialogue is broken down into smaller parts where vocabulary and other aspects of the conversation are explained in great detail. Towards the end of the lesson, you are then asked questions in quick succession on what you have just learned. It is so quick that you really don’t have time to think about how to correctly answer the questions. You either know the answers or you don’t. The fast questioning gives you no time to doubt your answer. Some of the final questions you are asked in the lesson are the type where you have to put different words together to form phrases from the learned vocabulary.
This brilliant method of learning French is designed so that the student studies only one 30 minute lesson at a time. If you are having trouble with a particular lesson then just spend more time on that lesson until you feel you are ready to move on to the next one. The great thing about this type of program is that you learn when you want to learn and move forward only when you feel you are ready.
I feel that you get the best results with this method by studying only one lesson per day. I know that some people are able to do two or three lessons a day but that really depends on how well you are able to learn from audio based systems. Pimsleur French really is a great program for learning a lot of French in a short amount of time. There are several different levels of this method available for the French language. In addition to Pimsleur I there is Pimsleur II, III, IV. Each level builds on the last. This method is the natural way to learn a language, the way people have learned languages for thousands of years.
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